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Several killed, at least 20 injured in attack on Iran Military Parade

Tabriz, South Azerbaijan, Sep 22

A group of gunmen opened fire on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, killing several people and wounding at least 20 more, local and state news agencies reported.

Videos of the attack published online and by local media outlets show scenes of chaos as soldiers and civilians flee gunfire and attempt to treat the wounded. Some images show bloodied soldiers in military fatigues, and ambulance sirens can be heard wailing in the background.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency, citing a local official, reported that at least 10 people had been killed, including a journalist. According to the Washington Post quoted semiofficial ISNA news agency, nine of those killed were members of the military.

The armed forces staged parades in several cities, including the capital, Tehran, to mark the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. Iran’s Fars news agency said that the parade in Ahvaz began at 8:30 a.m. and that the assailants opened fire about 30 minutes later.

The fates of the gunmen were unclear. Some media reports said that there were four assailants and that at least two had been killed.

Iranian state television quoted a spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as saying that the attackers were affiliated with an Arab separatist group in the region. The spokesman accused Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional rival, of supporting the group.

Ahvaz, in southwestern Khuzestan province, is home to the  Arab minority in Iran, which is mainly ethnic Persian.

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